Is it possible to play “wrong”?

Many years ago, there was a computer program called SimCity. In the designer’s notes, they said that although it was marketed as a game, it really wasn’t — it was a toy. A game has an objective, which you either accomplish or you don’t. A toy is something you play with, however you like. The only objective of a toy is to have fun playing with it.

Tabletop roleplaying games are not truly “games” — they are toys. Do whatever you want with it. As long as you are having fun, the toy is serving its purpose. There is no “wrong way” to play a tabletop roleplaying game. Correction: there is one wrong way. If anyone at the table is not having fun playing with it, then either someone at the table is playing wrong (being a bad player, in other words), or that particular roleplaying game is not suited to the tastes of that particular group of players (which doesn’t make the game good or bad; it merely means that group would have more fun playing something else).

(As a side note, I submit that this is one element that distinguishes tabletop roleplaying games from so-called computer roleplaying games. Computer roleplaying games most definitely have objectives, and it is clearly possible to play them wrong.)